Long John Baldry

It Ain't Easy: Live at Iowa State University

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This performance by Long John Baldry occurred at a club called the Maintenance Shop at Iowa State University in 1987. Baldry fronts a five-piece band (two guitars, keyboards, bass, and drums), singing blues, rock, and Caribbean songs that allow for plenty of soloing, particularly by guitarist Papa John King and keyboard player Joseph Ingraio. But Baldry's expressive bass-baritone voice, which occasionally rises to falsetto, still dominates the proceedings, just as he does physically, standing six-foot-seven in his leather pants. That is, he dominates when he's actually on-stage; he cedes the spotlight entirely to singer Kathi McDonald mid-set so that she can make like Aretha Franklin for a couple of numbers. While well performed, the show is actually fairly short; shorter, in fact, than one would suppose by examining the DVD box, which lists a track "Talking to My Baby," that isn't actually on the disc, and that claims an approximate running time of 85 minutes. In fact, the concert runs about 47-and-a-half minutes, plus a two-minute interview with Baldry in which he talks about his association with the Beatles. The rest of the running time is taken up by "Quantum Leap Propaganda," advertisements for other DVDs released by the company.

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